The City of Colorado Springs, in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), has hired ICF, a global consulting services company, to develop an Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Plan for the community. The Plan will provide an analysis of the community’s needs, opportunities, and challenges regarding EV adoption, as well as a thorough exploration and prioritization of implementation options. Primary project components will include:
- A roadmap for conversion of City and Utilities fleet to electric vehicles
- Public education and EV adoption incentives
- Policy adoption, including rate structure, infrastructure ownership, and land use and building code recommendations to support EVs
- Identification of ideal EV charging station locations, including needed utility infrastructure upgrades
The City proposes an initiative to foster and support the transition to zero emission vehicles and advance the adoption of EVs in the community through the development of an Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan.
The project will involve collaboration amongst numerous entities, including Utilities, the Colorado Energy Office, local stakeholders, and community members. The completed Plan will present an action-ready roadmap that will identify implementable short and long-term strategies toward promoting renewable energy goals related to EVs.
The City, in partnership with Utilities applied for and received a Renewables and Clean Energy Challenge Grant provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (“DOLA”) in the amount of $187,500. Utilities has committed $25,000 in matching funds and the City’s Office of Innovation has committed an additional $37,500 in matching funds.
Colorado Springs is the State’s largest city by square mileage, with nearly 6,000 lane miles of paved roads, and second largest city by population, with nearly a half million residents. The State Demography Office predicts that El Paso County (EPC) will gain more than 400,000 residents by the year 2050, a 59% increase, and that Colorado Springs will become Colorado’s most populous city within the next 15 years.
Ozone levels in Colorado Springs are of increasing concern, as the City has consistently hovered around the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) primary 8-hour ozone standard of 0.070 part per billion. If this standard is exceeded, the City will be deemed a “nonattainment” area and required to implement new regulations on industries and residents. One of those regulations would require residents to submit to vehicle emissions testing, causing strain on their daily lives and potential economic harm to those unable to bring vehicles into compliance. The City would prefer to be proactive and prevent triggering nonattainment status. Thus, in accordance with Goal 4 of the City’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan – to improve preservation, resource conservation, air quality, and protection of our viewsheds – the City is undertaking a number of measures to enhance air quality for current and future residents, including adopting an EV Readiness Plan, investing in infrastructure that will support biking and walking, and expanding our urban forest.
As a community known for its topographical beauty, outdoor recreation options, and active lifestyle, the City prioritizes the preservation of air quality for the health of current and future generations. Additionally, as a city that has been nationally recognized as one of the country’s best places to live, it is our duty to ensure the vitality, health, and appeal of our region. An EV Readiness Plan will be a first and crucial step to ensure this future.
 Ozone levels are calculated by taking the average of the fourth highest measurements from each of the last three years.